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Cultivating Qi: Taiji Neigong

February 2, 2011

In her new book Cultivating Qi, Jun Wang includes step-by-step instruction in a set of Taiji Neigong (内功, inner work) exercises: thirty-four Taiji Quan movements adapted from the Wu-Hao style of Taiji Quan. This short form focuses on cultivating neijin (内劲, internal power) and can be used as the foundation for various internal and external martial arts. From the book:

Compared to other styles of Taiji Quan, Wu-Hao has a few unique strengths. First, the exercise is compact (jin cou, 紧凑), meaning that the scope of body movement is less than in other styles. (For example, the hands usually do not extend across the middle line of the body.) This compact style allows for a quiet mind and keeps Qi stored in the dantian area. Second, Wu-Hao Taiji emphasizes the dynamic of opening (kai, 开) and closing (he, 合). “Opening” implies not only outward physical extension but also issuing and releasing energy. In contrast, “closing” implies inward movements as well as relaxing and storing energy. Third, the steps of Wu-Hao Taiji teach nimble (ling huo, 灵活) movement, as the body turns in eight directions. This is called the hidden ba gua (八卦, eight trigrams) of this Taiji Neigong set.

For more information on Taiji Neigong, the history of Wu-Hao style, basic principles of practice, and step-by-step instruction in this set, check out the book! Cultivating Qi also includes instruction in Yi Jin Jing, an ancient form of Daoyin (healing exercise), and the Six Healing Breaths, a Qigong exercise.

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